Brand Strategy
7 mins read

How to create your own brand codes

Published on
October 2, 2020
Scott Adam Lancaster
Brand Development Expert
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Everyone is familiar with the concept of a “brand.” But have you ever heard of brand codes before?

A brand code is an exclusive style or element of your brand that separates it from other brands. The code element makes it easier for consumers to remember and recognise your brand. That way, they are more likely to purchase your products or services if they see your brand is associated with them.

Think of logos as an example. Every successful brand has a uniquely identifiable logo. It is like the DNA of the brand, and it does not exist anywhere else. When someone sees your logo, they immediately know it is your brand. That is the essence of a brand code.

However, there is more to a brand code than just the logo itself. Sometimes, a sound
could be associated with a brand, such as an Apple notebook’s sound whenever it gets opened. This sound is unique to Apple and identifies the brand clearly, which makes it a brand code. That is why you think of Apple whenever and wherever you hear the sound.

You can create a brand code in so many different ways. Rather than leave it to you to figure it out, we’ve compiled some of the top ways to create a brand code.


Designs are the most recognisable form of brand coding. They consist of graphics, patterns, logos, colours, photos, and other visual elements. Sometimes a design can include a unique smell or sound as well.

For example, a brand advertisement could display a logo with a unique jingle sound. If the company creates a distinctive smell associated with its brand somehow, it could work as a brand code. Customers would smell it whenever they go into the company’s
physical storefront.

Every business owner wants to know how to make a robust brand code. They will pay thousands or even millions of dollars for marketers and copywriters to help them design the right brand code for their company. But you can figure out how to create your own brand code if you learn the tricks of the trade.

Just keep one thing in your mind as you work on your brand code. If you were the customer, would the design help you remember the brand? Give yourself an honest answer to the question, and you will know whether you have an excellent brand code or

A brand code must be unique and distinctive. If your brand code does not help you remember the brand, it is probably not distinct from other brand codes.

Tone of Voice

New brands have trouble establishing a memorable tone of voice. It takes a lot of time and effort for people to become familiar with the tone of voice you promote in your advertisements.

A major company like Burger King doesn’t have to try as hard anymore because consumers recognise their unique tone of voice. Burger King uses personality, humour and humour in their advertising campaigns to reach consumers. It is what separates them from their burger chain rival, McDonald’s.

The idea is to make people feel good when they think of your brand. Since Burger King creates entertaining advertisements, people might want to choose Burger King over McDonald’s the next time they want a burger.

As you can see, the tone of voice is how you make your brand stand out from the competition.

Company Values

Great companies are not just out to sell their products and services. They create something that gives purpose to people’s lives. Nike is the one brand that championed the idea of creating a purpose for consumers.

For example, the classic Nike mission statement is, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.” This statement signals to consumers that you don’t need to be an athlete like Michael Jordan to enjoy Nike products. Anyone with a body who move around can
benefit from them.

When this statement is printed on a highway billboard, it makes people think of Nike. In this case, the statement is an example of a written brand code. If you hire a talented copywriter, perhaps they could create a powerfully written brand code like this one for your company.

The Brand Code Creation Process

At this point, you understand that a brand code is a unique or distinctive element of a brand. You’ve learned about different examples of strong brand codes used by other companies. Now you need to learn more about the brand code creation process. The first question you must ask yourself is, “What is unique about my brand?” Think about one element of your brand that is different from other brands. Consider the examples we discussed before.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of money to hire a professional to create your brand code. You can create a winning brand code for little or no money with the knowledge you’ve been given. Think about which graphics, colours, logos, sounds, and smells could make your brand more memorable.


A unique colour scheme can quickly identify your brand amongst consumers. Pick a colour combination that has never been used before and associate it with your logo and ads. You don’t need to use more than two or three colours. Just display them
memorably and interestingly.

In some cases, you can use a single colour to identify your brand. Tiffany & Co. is an excellent example of a company that uses a single colour. What’s impressive is that they designed their colour and registered a trademark for it. The colour is called “Tiffany Blue.” Since it’s trademarked, they are the only ones who can use it for their brand.

Stance and Purpose

If your brand has a powerful purpose in its industry, you could turn it into your brand code. Sometimes a mildly controversial stance or belief system will make people remember your brand more easily.

Meanwhile, your competitors will be too scared to take the risk of making a controversial stance. It gives you a competitive advantage in your industry. But make sure you choose a stance that resonates with your target audience. Attracting them is the main point, after all.

Final Words

Brand code development is a sophisticated process. You must study your market and the target audience closely. Think about which brand elements would be most effective at capturing their attention.

IBrand codes can either be a powerful brand development tool to connect with your customers, or an opportunity missed.

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